News & Commentary

BNSF Tells-All!

How Wall Street is making passenger trains late, what private railroads like about Amtrak, and more from BNSF CEO Matt Rose

Abe Zumwalt, Rail Passengers Association Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) is defined as a class I railroad, operating around 32,000 miles of track across the American West. If you’ve ridden the Empire Builder, Coast Starlight, Southwest Chief, or any number of services in Washington State, clear across to Illinois or Texas, you’ve ridden on BNSF tracks. Though they bear resemblance to the other four Class I railroads operating in the United States, there is one crucial difference: BNSF w

A Soul-Crushing Vision for American Commuters

by Sean Jeans-Gail, Rail Passengers I had the opportunity to speak at a meeting held by All Aboard Arizona this weekend, updating them on the work Rail Passengers is doing to prepare for next years’ surface transportation reauthorization in Congress. It’s a tough subject matter to give a presentation on, frankly—dense with policy jargon, discussions of the structure of federal agencies and programs, and scores of acronyms. But it’s an important topic to educate advocates on, because th

Lonely Planet's 'Amazing Train Journeys'

Just In Time: Give A Holiday Gift That Supports Rail Passengers Too!

RailPassengers & Lonely Planet Have Teamed Up To Bring You This Great Gift Idea! 'Amazing Train Journeys' Experience 60 of the world’s greatest and most unforgettable train journeys, from classic long-distance trips like Western Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer and Darwin to Adelaide’s The Ghan, to little-known gems on regular commuting lines. 'Amazing Train Journeys' is the culmination of asking more than 200 travel writers for their absolute favorites. Some are epic international adv

Amtrak Chairman Responds to Rail Passengers Open Letter

This week, Amtrak Chairman Anthony Coscia wrote to Rail Passengers Association President Jim Mathews outlining real steps to pursue many of your Association’s customer-focused priorities. Coscia’s letter was a response to Mathews’ October open letter calling on Amtrak’s Board to embrace a bold growth plan for Amtrak focused on serving the entire country. While we must remain vigilant and keep working closely with our partners in Congress, along with our Mayors and other elected and appo

Watch This Space

"Coming Attractions"

by Joe Aiello | Northeast Field Coordinator I have spent the last few years putting together town halls for the North-South Rail Link in Boston and advocating for transit-orientated development around the Northeast (Hello, Hartford Line!). I can’t help it – it’s in my blood. I am a self-proclaimed “union brat”. So, allow me to put on my organizer hat for a second and introduce you all to a couple of things that we are going to start to roll out here at Rail Passengers HQ. This websit

The Business with the Best Customer-Centric View Always Wins

By Carolyn Cokley - Rail Passengers Association As frequent travelers, we all know that perception is as much a part of the customer experience as the actual customer experience itself and while we may have trouble remembering some of the actual details of an interaction, we will not soon forget how those details made us feel. A great actual and perceived customer experience comes down to three factors – success, effort, and emotion, and it is that emotion factor that prompts the most adverse

It's the 21st Century Somewhere

A Postcard from Dijon, France

By Abe Zumwalt, Rail Passengers Association In the United States, easy transportation is a promise of the future, perhaps a decade within our grasp. ‘Traffic will get better when the new highway cloverleaf is completed.’ ‘The Light Rail Line will ease traffic and loosen congestion.’ ‘Driverless cars will speed travel and eliminate traffic.’ A sort of ‘End of History’ solving the problem of personal mobility has been a decade away for more than 50 years, something that we have be

Amtrak Announces Nationwide Roomette Sale

By Bruce Becker, Rail Passengers Association In a rare move, Amtrak today announced a nationwide sale on Sleeping Car roomettes, clearly aimed at boasting premium service ridership during the slower travel months in early 2019. Under the sale, one person in a group of two will travel for free when a roomette is purchased at the regular, one person adult full or senior fare rate. The sale is being offered only via Amtrak.com from December 4th through December 11th, and is valid for travel from

Top Talent Demands Transit, and Employers Are Responding

by Sean Jeans-Gail, Rail Passengers Association One of the most difficult tasks for any transit advocate is to accurately capture the benefits of a transit project. Transit systems aren’t built as profit making ventures, so ridership and revenue aren't enough. They’re built to support the basic economic and civic activities every community requires in order to thrive. Highway advocates, meanwhile, tend to rely on a closed system. Highway construction begets destinations accessible only b

Branson Bets On Brightline

My current and previous worlds merged this afternoon...and I couldn't be more excited about it. As many of you probably know, I came to lead the Rail Passengers Association team after nearly three decades in aviation, mostly at Aviation Week. During my time at AvWeek, once or twice I met Sir Richard Branson -- the adventurer, serial entrepreneur and genius behind everything from Virgin records to Virgin Airlines and yes, Virgin Galactic (my personal favorite) -- and covered him for a couple of